Both spreader beams and lifting beams are used as popular types of below-the-hook lifting equipment, but quite often there is some confusion over which is best to be used for certain tasks. They are two different types of lifting equipment, but should you hire a spreader beam? And how do you tell the difference between a spreader beam and a lifting beam?
The first thing to say is that both provide a means with which to offer stability and support to a load whilst it is being lifted overhead. They are also both used to keep lifting slings lower than the device at or near a 90-degree angle. This helps to prevent any damage to the load, as well as preventing damage to the hardware rigging and the slings themselves.
Primarily the difference between the two is that a lifting beam is a description of a beam where a load is lifted, and it places a bending stress in the beam. A spreader beam is any beam that suffers a compressive stress due to the load being lifted.
Let’s look specifically at spreader beams. It is an extremely simple piece of lifting equipment that consists of one long bar with two slings held apart. The design is such that it is meant to convert lifting loads into a compressive force, spreading the legs of the sling apart. What this achieves is an even distribution of the weight of the load across the two slings. The slings are then connected to a lifting machine of some sort, whether that is a crane or other type of lifting gear. Two lugs on the bottom connect to the sling or hook, which in turn connect to the load being lifted.
There are several advantages to hiring a spreader beam. The first is that that are highly efficient in the use of the materials being used within them. What this means, is that a spreader beam is often smaller, less expensive, and much lighter to manoeuvre than a lifting beam. The two lifting points ensure an even spread of weight, removing the stress on a single point. A spreader beam is therefore the perfect piece of equipment where there is a requirement for heavy loads or very wide loads to be lifted.
With a spreader beam you also have a much higher standard of health and safety. You can see this most clearly in the fact that the spread of the weight allows for greater control of the load, reducing the prospect of the load sliding, bending, or tipping, as well as a lower risk of the load becoming damaged or crushed. Spreader beams can also be used in fixed dimensions or with incremental adjustment of the angle of the sling and the length of the spreader beam. This is perfect for specific measurements and weights, or off-centre loads where adjustments are necessary.
By hiring a spreader beam from a lifting equipment hire specialist you can ensure that you have access to the very latest models of spreader beams, and expert advice and guidance along the way.